Monday, September 10, 2012

KickStarter - A Tool for the Game Industry (Opinion)


As far as I can tell, we all love an underdog story. The stories where the nice guy gets the girl and wins the lotto. I think that's why all those '80's movies had the nerdy kid gets away with the stealing exotic cars, getting cheered on by his team, or impersonating a secret agent. I think it appeal to everyone.

Now, I think that's why KickStarter has gotten so big lately, especially in the games industry. There are these games on there that people can get behind because they like the idea. Or it could remind them of their dream game that they would make up and scribble out on a stack of note book paper until they thought it was perfect. It brings to light our hopes and dreams and giving us a chance to see them made real.

But what does it really mean for the industry?

I've been thinking about it a lot lately, especially after seeing a few of my favorite old game studios and IP's start hitting up KickStarter to be brought back into the lime-light. These were/are games and studios that had major publishers back in the day. They had proven financial success and cult followings to this day.

And I think thats where the problem lies. The video game industry is still being run with a "shit rolls down hill" method as far as I can tell. It doesn't take a market analyst to see that innovation and new IP's are nearly gone from the main stream, "AAA" titles that get released. And the reason the same old, busted crap is getting released is because it sells at a consistent rate. They don't break records and don't revolutionize the industry as a whole. If they did take a chance on something new, there is a better chance that they won't recoupe their expenses. Expenses that pay for a board of directors that never touched code, giant marketing campaigns that cost millions to push a 3 hour game, and pay for CEO's to try something new while their original company drowns in debt from miss-management.

Corporate greed. It seems to be real and it's one of the reasons I think big players have gone to KickStarter. Who wants to pay for a year of mortgage on the executives house(s) while you get a month of instant noodles? I dunno, doesn't sound fun, but we all have to work.

But as KickStarter becomes more and more laden down with video games that want to get funding, to me it has lost some of its luster; its magic. Everyone who loves video games has an idea for one and everyone wants to get it made. Though the games I view on there now are less original, less fun. I can't imagine them being someones dream game. To me, it's like they're going the way of the major league, "AAA" titles. They are starting to look the same to me and I get the feeling that they are just in it to get any game made so they can make a buck.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that KickStarter is a good tool that is getting used in the wrong way by some people and to me, some of the amazement and wonder of finding a hidden gem is gone because those gems are surrounded with the same old crap.

...
Anywho, that's just my opinion.

Thanks for reading!
-Dave

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